Seeking a plus-one for Saturday double feature
When you’ve been in this racket as long as I have, sometimes you just use up your friends’ patience for sitting through the obscure, the bizarre, the old-fashioned, the inscrutable. So I’m opening up this Saturday’s events to the first person to e-mail me at ezimmer at rcn dot com, willing to accompany me to a Works and Process at the Guggenheim event at 4:30 pm Saturday, April 18, featuring the world premiere of Robert Wilson’s KOOL:
Robert Wilson, working with Carla Blank, creates a performance-portrait inspired by Suzushi Hanayagi, legendary Japanese performer and choreographer of classical dance. Wilson started working with Hanayagi in his 1984 production of The Knee Plays, which was partially developed in Japan. In 2008 he sought her out in an Osaka home for the elderly where she has been living for years in a state of dementia. Archival and newly filmed material of Hanayagi by Richard Rutkowski is combined with recreation of performance material and newly choreographed dances by Jonah Bokaer and Illenk Gentille. The work reflects Hanayagi’s current state and serves as a poetic monument to a working friendship.
KOOL-Dancing in My Mind is co-produced and co-commissioned by Works & Process; Guild Hall, East Hampton; and the Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation with support from the Jerome Robbins Foundation.
Following that, after a quick bite of dinner, we’ll descend on a Fifth Avenue bus to New York Theatre Ballet’s 30th anniversary, a premiere performance of Dance/Speak: The Life of Agnes de Mille at 7:30pm at Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street (between Park & Madison aves). Dance/Speak is a landmark production for NYTB that uses spoken word, dance and dramatic interpretation to reveal choreographer Agnes de Mille’s struggle for success in American theater and her eventual triumphs as a theatrical innovator during the golden age of musical theater.
Dance/Speak was conceived and written by Anderson Ferrell, who is uniquely qualified to chronicle Miss de Mille’s life. An award-winning author whose second novel was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, Mr. Ferrell also serves as chairman of The Agnes de Mille Working Group, which is responsible for overseeing the production of Miss De Mille’s choreographic works. Well-versed on intimate details of Miss de Mille’s artistic life, including childhood influences and early attempts as a solo artist, Mr. Ferrell also has first-hand knowledge of her choreography, having danced for Miss de Mille on Broadway and at the Kennedy Center in the early 1980s.
Dance/Speak: The Life of Agnes de Mille will include celebrated full and excerpted dances from Carousel, Paint Your Wagon, Bloomer Girl, One Touch of Venus and Brigadoon as well as Fall River Legend, Three Virgins and a Devil, Rodeo and Stage Fright and is staged by Gemze de Lappe and Liza Gennaro. Live music will be provided by pianist Ferdy Tumakaka, music director of NYTB.
An odder juxtaposition of events can hardly be imagined, and I’m interested to see who among Culturebot’s readers is up for both of them in one day. If no one bites, I’ll accept inquiries from people who only want one or the other.
This is an unparallelled opportunity to both leave downtown on a spring weekend and to hang out with me!